UN Officials Slam Countries Defunding UNRWA, Punishing Gaza

Several United Nations officials have released statements condemning the move to defund UNRWA, saying it heightens suffering among Palestinians.

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, affirmed in a post on X that the decision of some countries to suspend funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza is a form of collective punishment that puts Palestinians in more dire situations amid the genocide. 

Albanese slammed the countries partaking in this move, and accused them of “violating their obligations under the Genocide Convention.”

Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the UN, also issued a statement regarding the suspension of aid to UNRWA. 

“I am shocked such decisions are taken based on alleged behavior of a few individuals and as the war continues, needs are deepening & famine looms.”

Moreover, he went on in defense of Palestinians in Gaza, saying they do not need any additional challenges relative to all the conditions they are forced to live in. 

WHO condemns all accusations

Several Western countries have joined forces against UNRWA, and cut funding allocated to the organization after “Israel” accused 12 UNRWA employees, following the ICJ’s ruling, of participating in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. 

“Such false claims are harmful and can endanger our staff who are risking their lives to serve the vulnerable.”

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denied all accusations in a post on X. 

Hamas also condemned the measures and extended support to UNRWA, saying it must not be deterred by these accusations and “not to yield to the blackmails and threats of the Israeli occupation, and its efforts to cut off the lifelines of the Palestinian people.”

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